Critical Approaches to the History of Art – Reading List

Excerpts are included in the handout but these are the complete book (when available.)

H. Wolfflin, Principles of Art
Note, this is not the recommended book but a well known book by Onians. The Onians used hardbook is cheaper than the paperback.

J. Onians, Bearers of Meaning Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

F. De Saussure, R. Harris (Translator), Course in General Linguistics

T. J Clark, On the Social History of Art

Alternative TJ Clark book: The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers

Amazon Synopsis: The Paris of the 1860’s and 1870’s was supposedly a brand new city, equipped with boulevards, cafes, parks and suburban pleasure grounds – the birthplace of those habits of commerce that constitute modern life. Questioning those who view Impressionism solely in terms of artistic technique, T.J. Clark describes the painting of Manet, Degas, Seurat and others as an attempt to give form to that modernity and seek out its typical representatives – be they barmaids, boaters, prostitutes, sightseers or petits bourgeois lunching on the grass. The central question of the book is this: did modern painting as it came into being celebrate the consumer – oriented culture of the Paris of Napoleon III, or open it to critical scrutiny ? The revised edition of this classic book includes a new preface by the author.

G. Pollock, Vision, voice and power feminist art histories and Marxism

H. Belting, Preface to The End of the History of Art?

G.Vasari, Prefaces to the Lives
A must have classic.

R. Barthes, The Death of the Author
ISBN: 0099224917

Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag (Editor), Selected Writings of Roland Barthes (Vintage Classics)

Recommended Books

E.Fernie, (ed.) Art History and its Methods a critical anthology (London, 1995)

F.Frascina, and J.Harris, (eds) Art in Modern Culture an Anthology of Critical Texts (London, 1992)

F.Borzello, and A.L.Rees, (ed.) The New Art History, (London, 1986)

B.R.Collins, (ed.) Twelve Views of Manet’s Bar, (Princeton, 1996)
ISBN: 0691036918

F.Frascina, and J.Harris, (eds) Art in Modern Culture an Anthology of Critical Texts (London, 1992)

F.Borzello, and A.L.Rees, (ed.) The New Art History, (London, 1986)

B.R.Collins, (ed.) Twelve Views of Manet’s Bar, (Princeton, 1996)
ISBN: 0691036918 Bradford Collins has assembled here a collection of twelve essays that demonstrates, through the interpretation of a single work of art, the abundance and complexity of method – ological approaches now available to art historians. Focusing on Manet ‘s “A Bar at the Folies-Bergere “, each contributor applies to it a different methodology, ranging from the more traditional to the newer, including feminism, Marxism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and semiotics. By demonstrating the ways that individual practitioners actually apply the various methodological insights that inform their research, ” Twelve Views of Manet’s Bar ” serves as an excellent introduction to critical methodology as well as a provocative overview for those already familiar with the current discourse of art history. In the process of gaining new insight into Click here to order from Amazon.

C.Harrison, and P.Wood, (eds) Art in Theory, 1900-
C.Harrison, P.Wood and J. Gaiger (eds), Art in Theory 1815-1900 An Anthology of Changing Ideas (Oxford, 1998)
C.Harrison, P.Wood and J. Gaiger (eds), Art in Theory 1648-1815 An Anthology of Changing Ideas (Oxford, 2000)

M.Podro, The Critical Historians of Art (New Haven and London, 1982)
ISBN: 0300032404
cover

Reviews the work of nineteenth – century German art critics and connects their writings with the basic philosophical problems of aesthetics considered by Kant, Schiller, and Hegel.

M.Gee, Art Criticism since 1900, (Manchester, 1993)

This book examines the nature and character of critical writing about modern art in Europe and the United States during the 20, and its relationship both to art practice and to art history. It analyzes a wide range of material from a number of different viewpoints making a contribution to knowledge and understanding of an aspect of the history of art which is of growing interest among art historians. Following a general introduction to the field of art criticism, 12 specialists deal with a variety of issues and debates. These include discussion of: Walter Benjamin; art publishers; the emergence of the language of modernism in the United States; Herbert Read and psychoanalysis; Englishness and art criticism; and French theory and criticism.

R.Nelson, and R.Shiff, (eds.) Critical Terms for Art History, (Chicago, 1996)
ISBN: 0226571688
cover

In addition to the 22 original essays, this edition includes 9 new ones as well as new introductory material. All help expand the book’s scope while retaining its central goal of stimulating discussion of theoretical issues in art history and making it accessible.

D.Preziosi, (ed.) The Art of Art

N. Mirzoeff (ed.), The Visual Culture Reader (London, 1998, reprint 1999)
cover

Book Description:This thoroughly revised and updated second edition of The Visual Culture Reader brings together key writings as well as specially commissioned articles covering a wealth of visual forms including photography, painting, sculpture, fashion, advertising, television, cinema and digital culture. The Reader features an introductory section tracing the development of visual culture studies in response to globalization and digital culture, and articles grouped into thematic sections, each prefaced by an introduction by the editor and conclude with suggestions for further reading.

Amazon Synopsis: In response to rapid changes in the emerging interdisciplinary field of visual culture, this thoroughly revised and updated second edition of The Visual Culture Reader brings together key writings as well as specially commissioned articles covering a wealth of visual forms including photography, painting, sculpture, fashion, advertising, television, cinema and digital culture. The Reader features an introductory section tracing the development of visual culture studies in response to globalization and digital culture, and articles grouped into thematic sections, each prefaced by an introduction by the editor. Each thematic section includes suggestions for further reading….

N. Mirzoeff, An Introduction to Visual Culture (London, 1999, reprint 2002)

ISBN: 0415158761
cover

Book Description: This is a wide – ranging and stimulating introduction to the history and theory of visual culture, from painting to the computer and television screen. Nicholas Mirzoeff argues that the visual is replacing the linguistic as our primary means of communicating with each other and of understanding our postmodern world. Topics include: * virtual reality from the nineteenth century to the present * gender and sexuality and questions of the gaze * encounters with ‘the other ‘, from colonial narratives to science fiction texts such as The Thing, Independence Day, Star Trek and The X Files * the death of Princess Diana and the popular mourning that followed as representative of a global visual culture. — This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Amazon Synopsis: This is a wide – ranging and stimulating introduction to the history and theory of visual culture from painting to the computer and television screen. It will prove indispensable to students of art and art history as well as students of cultural studies. Mirzoeff begins by defining what visual culture is, and explores how and why visual media – fine art, cinema, the Internet, advertising, performance, photography, television – have become so central to contemporary everyday life….

S. Edwards (ed.), Art and its Histories (London, 1999)
ISBN: 0300077440
cover

A presentation of 89 texts that have played a role in shaping modern judgements and values about art. Emphasizing the debates and ideological assumptions around the Western canon of art, it ranges through art history from Pliny the Elder to current issues of gender.

F. Frascina (ed.) Pollock and J. Harris, The New Art

T. Eagleton, Literary Theory. An Introduction (Oxford, 1983)
ISBN: 0631201882
cover

Book Description:Terry Eagleton ‘s classic Literary Theory has served as an inspiration to a whole generation of students and teachers.

Synopsis: Written in 1982, this work appeared, as Professor Eagleton explains, at the watershed of two very different decades. It could not anticipate what was to come after, neither could it grasp what had happened in literary theory in the light of where it was to lead. In this edition, this dilemma is redressed and necessarily renewed. It provides for a new generation of students an important retrospective, reviewing developments that have occurred since his book was first published: in feminist theory, post – structuralism, postmodernism, or broadly speaking, what is termed cultural theory.

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